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Author Topic: ELI5: How do I integrate a PDF plugin into XMetaL? (XMetaL Author Enterprise 12)  (Read 46 times)

Posts: 1

« on: June 19, 2017, 06:41:49 AM »

Hi everyone, I'm a newcomer to the XMetaL family. I started my internship as a Tech Comms Trainee a few weeks ago, and one of my first tasks was to figure out how to customize our company's PDF output on XMetaL. I'm using a fresh installation of XMetaL Author Enterprise 12 + DITA-OT 2.4. Before this, I used oXygen during my studies, so I've been burning through all possible material online to catch up with the differences. Which means I've gone through most topics both on this forum and the Yahoo DITA group.
But a very simple question still eludes me:

How, exactly, do I integrate a PDF plugin into XMetaL? I've read DITA for Print, checked various DITA-OT day presentations, lurked on forums, done a fair amount of trial and error, but I still cannot for the life of me understand how to get past this impasse. I've gone through the first ~80 pages of DITA for Print at least half a dozen times, but I never actually get the plugin integrated and working. Creating the plugin is simple enough, and there's always Jarno Elovirta's PDF plugin generator too, but integrating them into the system seems to be the biggest problem here. DITA for Print recommends a batch file with the following in it:

call %DITA_DIR%bin\ant -f integrator.xml

This batch file does finish without a hitch, but it doesn't seem to actually do anything. It doesn't add the transtype to the deliverable type dropdown menu in XMetaL, nor does anything else for that matter. I've tried changing the value of cmd_dita_ot_per_user_version = n in order to force XMetaL to load the new plugins, but that didn't solve my problem either.

I've tried a few solutions that were given here - namely creating a new deliverable type and then changing the "Other Output Parameters" to RX_CUSTOM_DIR  =  <path to the plugin folder/customization folder>, but that didn't work either. I also tried specifying an XSL stylesheet to override the default one, but the only visible change I got after going through all XSLs was just a larger margin. It was indeed one of the changes I had made, but I had also increased the font sizes and changed font colors, yet none of those appeared.

Sorry for the lengthy message, but this is driving me up the wall. I must be missing something completely obvious, since no one online seems to have the same problem. Any sort of guidance would be greatly appreciated, but if possible, please explain it like I'm 5 years old. I fear I might be missing some crucial step. It doesn't help either how a lot of the material online just skips this part as something completely obvious.

-Fresh install of XMetaL 12 and DITA-OT 2.4
-Trying to create a PDF plugin
-Plugin won't integrate and the transtype won't appear in the list
Derek Read
Program Manager (XMetaL)

Posts: 2469

« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 12:06:46 PM »

  • Place your plug-in at the correct location inside the DITA Open Toolkit (see the DITA OT documentation or possibly other instructions, which I believe you have already done).
  • Enable the setting named "run_plugin_integrator  =  yes" in the "Other output parameters" section on the Advanced tab in the Configure Output dialog.
  • The next time the DITA OT is run plug-ins will be integrated.

The setting is disabled by default to allow the DITA OT to run slightly faster.
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